6 Best Microphones for Rap Vocals of 2023

Take your rap performances to the next level with a microphone designed for rap vocals. Rap vocals are very energetic, powerful, and fast-paced. You want a high-quality microphone that can capture your personality, rhythm, and overall flow.

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Microphones best suited for rapping would be a dynamic mic that can handle powerful live performances, like the Shure SM58, or a quality condenser microphone like the AKG C414 for the recording studio.

These rap microphones deliver clear audio and will amplify your voice in the studio or at a venue. These mics will truly make you shine, so check out 6 of our favorite microphones below for your next performance.

Quick Summary of the Best Rap Vocals

  1. Shure SM58 (Best Overall for Live Performances)
  2. Audio-Technica AT2020 (Best Budget Condenser Mic)
  3. Neumann U 87 (Best High-End Mic for the Studio)
  4. Rode NT1-A (A Quality Mic for Studio Recording)
  5. AKG C414 XLII Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone (Another High-End Studio Mic)
  6. Sennheiser e 945 (An Industry Favorite for Gigs)

Best Microphones for Rap Vocals

1. Best Overall for Live Performances – Shure SM58

best microphone for rap vocals sm58


  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz-15kHz
  • Type: Dynamic

Shure’s entire mic line is great, but there are a few Shure mics that are often praised and you’re probably wondering if the hype is real. It is, especially when it comes to the SM58. The SM58 is an iconic mic, loved across many genres but especially for rappers looking to perform for an audience.

The microphone has a cardioid pattern that truly focuses on vocals without background noise. So whether you’re performing in a small venue or for thousands of people, this mic will reject unwanted noise from monitors and more. The mic emphasizes vocals and enhances rap vocals so every word is heard with accuracy.

Rappers and singers love the price, and can’t believe a mic of this quality is still under $100. It’s also praised for its build, just know this mic can handle a fall or two and be perfectly okay.

2. Best Budget Condenser Mic – Audio Technica AT2020

best microphone for rap vocals at2020


  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Type: Condenser

We found a great condenser mic at the same price point, so consider making this your budget-friendly mic for studio recording. Audio Technica’s mics are top-tier mics, and they’re usually pretty affordable.

If you value brand reputation, you can’t go wrong with Audio Technica. Their AT2020 is a pretty versatile mic, and many musicians use their mics across all genres, but some reasons you’ll want to consider the Audio Technica mic for rapping are its polar pattern and sound quality.

It’ll pick up rap vocals with much detail—vocals will sound smooth and natural, which is great for rap lyrics. The cardioid polar pattern is great for rejecting background noise. Overall, the AT2020 is a great beginner mic. It is an XLR mic, so if you’re wanting something you can easily plug into your laptop, consider the USB version here.

Users love using this Audio Technica mic with acoustic instruments, so if you want to play around with other genres, you can use this Audio Technica mic as well.

3. Best High-End Mic for the Studio – Neumann U 87

best microphone for rap vocals neumann u 87


  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Omni, Figure-8
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Type: Condenser

Now, this is an iconic mic. Your favorite rappers have likely used this mic in the past, and honestly probably still use it. The U 87 is an industry favorite.

The large diaphragm is perfect, and everything you could want for warm, rich, and detailed vocals. You’ll get precise vocals, and you’ll only wish you invested in a mic like this earlier. The mic is great for both male and female vocals.

This mic is owned by many recording studios, so if you’re looking to upgrade your home studio, this is a wonderful microphone to invest in. It’s pretty expensive, but it’ll likely be the only studio mic you’ll want to use.

Another reason why we love this mic is that the polar pattern is adjustable—omnidirectional and figure-8 will be useful for a variety of recording needs such as recording with others or even recording acoustic guitar.

Artists are blown away by the quality and are happy they invested in this legendary mic.

4. A Quality Mic for Studio Recording – Rode NT1-A

best microphone for rap vocals


  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Type: Condenser

Rode makes some amazing mics, they’re super popular amongst filmmakers and podcasters especially, but artists are big fans of their NT-1A mic. It delivers clear, detailed vocals and has a nice, smooth warm tone that you and your producer are going to love.

The mic is praised for its low self-noise, so you don’t capture unwanted noise or hiss while recording. It does have an extended dynamic range, so you can be creative with softer and louder vocals without distortion.

Overall, this is also a great bundle package for artists—it comes with an SM6 shock mount, pop filter, 20-inch mic cable, dust cover, and an NT1-A ‘Studio Secrets’ DVD. Great for minimizing noise and plosives, and creating something special.

5. Another High-End Studio Mic – AKG C414 XLII Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone

best microphone for rap vocals


  • Polar Pattern: Omni, Wide Cardioid, Cardioid, Hypercardioid, Figure-8
  • Frequency Response: Condenser
  • Type: 20Hz-20kHz

Here’s a high-end mic that’s a fraction of the price of the U 87. The professional-grade mic is loved by rap artists for its clarity, detail, and natural tone. The mic has a wide frequency response for reproducing the nuances and dynamics of vocals, so it sounds authentic.

This rap microphone mic will make a great versatile mic for a variety of recording situations since there are 9 polar patterns. Pretty impressive. Great for recording with various instruments or duets. Users love it, and so will you if you enjoy a variety of recording styles.

It’ll be a great mic for all kinds of vocals, so whether you have a mix of soft, whisper-ike verses or energetic and fast-paced verses, it’ll pick up every detail.

If you want a high-end mic that is still relatively inexpensive compared to many high-end mics on the market, this is the best fit for your needs. You’ll likely use this mic for at least a decade until you think about upgrading again.

6. An Industry Favorite Rap Mic for Gigs – Sennheiser e 945

best microphone for rap vocals


  • Polar Pattern: Supercardioid
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz-18kHz
  • Type: Dynamic

Sennheiser mics are some of our favorites here at American Songwriter. They’re pretty affordable and make great mics for all genres. If you have the Shure mic or want to consider another mic for live performances, you’ll enjoy this dynamic microphone.

It has a super cardioid pickup pattern which is tighter than a cardioid pickup pattern. It’s also an effective mic for rappers with aggressive and energetic vocals, it can handle high sound pressure levels without distortion.

Overall, it’s a great handheld rap microphone for live performances, as it’ll deliver clear audio and will reject unwanted noise. It’s regarded as one of the best stage mics. The price isn’t bad either. It’s under $200.

Best Microphone for Rap Vocals Buyer’s Guide

Microphone Type

Dynamic microphones are best for live performances, while condenser microphones offer quality sensitivity and detail for studio recordings.

Sound Quality

Consider frequency response, clarity, and detail. A microphone with a balanced frequency response that enhances the vocal presence and delivers a natural sound can greatly enhance your recordings.

Polar Pattern

Cardioid is a common choice for rap vocals as it focuses on capturing sound from the front (you or whoever is performing), minimizing unwanted noise. However, other polar patterns like omnidirectional or figure-8 may suit specific recording situations or stylistic choices. Omnidirectional would be a great pick for 2 or more rappers on the same mic.


Look for microphones with sturdy construction that can handle the demands of live performances, travel, or frequent studio use.


Remember that higher-priced microphones often offer better sound quality and durability, but there are also terrific budget-friendly options that are praised by industry professionals. Set a budget, and see which mic will meet your needs.

Best Mic for Rap Vocals Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Type of Microphone is Best for Rap Vocals?

It depends, you’ll want a dynamic mic for live performances and a condenser mic for studio recordings. Also, consider diaphragm design.

Can I Use a Studio Microphone for Live Performances?

Technically yes, but consider feedback rejection, and handling noise. Make sure your studio mic can reject background noise from a venue, this includes stage monitors. As for handling noise, you want to make sure your studio mic has some kind of built-in shock mount that can minimize noise.

Large-Diaphragm Versus Small-Diaphragm: Which is Best?

Large-diaphragm microphones are known for their warm and full-bodied sound. You may prefer a large design in the studio for an organic or vintage sound. Small-diaphragm microphones offer a more detailed and accurate sound. They are popular for fast-paced rap deliveries and intricate vocal techniques.


Finding a rap microphone for live performances can be tough, you want a mic that fits your or the performer’s vocal style. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly rap microphone for gigs we recommend going with the Shure SM58. It’s the best mic for rap vocals since it emphasizes vocals and enhances rap vocals so every word is heard with accuracy.

Recording rap music from home is possible with a solid microphone. If you want a versatile mic under $100, the AT2020 is a great pick. It’ll do a great job capturing rap vocals, but it’s also a very versatile mic. You can also pick a USB version if you don’t want to use an XLR mic.

If you can stretch your budget for an industry-favorite studio mic, the U 87 or AKG C414 mics will be your favorites. They’re great for male vocals and female rap vocals and have low self-noise.

Photo Courtesy Sweetwater

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